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What Word Infuriates Family Law Attorney's The Most

Believe it or not, the most exasperating word a family law attorney can hear is MEDIATION. Why, because once most, not all, attorneys who practice primarily litigation involving dissolution of marriage and child support and custody issues get a case, they view them as a continuing stipend. The more court hearings they can force, the more money they can make. The more assets they can convince their client they are entitled to, whether true or not, the more conflict and angst they can conjure up and the more money they can ensure themselves during the long drawn out fight that accompanies the litigation fiasco. I have seen literally dozens and dozens of cases end in mindless and needless court battles, because the attorneys have created issues out of whole cloth. They have stirred the pot, like witches brew. Is their interest what is best for their client, or what is best for them? I am sorry to say, that in so many cases, my colleagues put their interests, ahead of their clients.

Because of this pretense marital cases can cost the husband and wife thousands of dollars. I was personally involved in one marital dispute in which the wife was represented by one of the top boutique marital dissolution law firms in Beverly Hills. There was a large corporation involved, which I represented, and the husband was represented by a two person well known law firm. The wife's law firm had two partners and several associates sitting around a conference table during the rented judge trial while the husband had one. The wife's attorneys' had her believing she could get ½ of the corporation and run it, when she had never stepped foot in it and her husband had been running it for years extremely successfully and with an independent board of directors. Telling her she would get to run the business and that her husband would do everything to steal money and keep her from getting anything was an abominable lie meant to exacerbate her already vicious feelings about her husband, with the only reason being the lining of the law firm's pockets.

I witnessed this Beverly Hills law firm charging well over $1,000.00 per hour for a three week trial and that was subsequent to my attempting to settle the corporate issues for a very fair amount of money and future participation in profits, which would have been huge, with her own accountant able to review all financial records of the company. I offered this settlement even before a trial was set. After the three week trial the wife's lead attorney came to me to settle the corporation's part of the case for $17MM after taxes were paid. This for a corporation that was, at that time showing a profit of well over $17MM the prior year and was growing at the enormous rate of twenty percent a year. My offer prior to trial was well over twice as much, but it was rejected and now the wife's attorney was coming to me with this ridiculous offer to settle.

You see, the firm had already exceeded $1MM in fees and I am quite confident did not want to finish the trial which had gone on for, as I wrote above, three weeks, because they knew their client was never going to be able to run the corporation, even though that was what they promised their client they would get for her. As much as I wanted to protect the wife from this disastrous settlement, I was representing the corporation and bound by ethical duty not to do so.

I cringed when I went to my client, the corporation, and told its board about my settlement, because I knew how incredibly low it was, but I accomplished my job. On the other hand the wife's law firm essentially through her under the proverbial bus. These kinds of stories unfortunately happen every day. It happens in all types of litigation, but more in family law than any other litigation.

So how do you avoid these tremendous fees and bad outcomes? You seek good mediators who have no skin in the game and who only care about doing one thing. That one thing is seeing to it that the parties reach a resolution of their case at the least possible cost, both financially and emotionally. As mediators we help guide you through the process of developing your own resolution. By being the master of your own destiny you own the process and decisions as opposed to attorneys and a judge. When you own the decision you feel better about yourself and, in many cases, your spouse or other party with whom you may be locked in conflict. This helps to take much of the emotion out of the mediation which is especially important when dealing with issues involving children insofar as you and your spouse may have years of co-parenting children well under the age of eighteen and continuing your relationship with your children's families.

Many times women feel more comfortable with a female mediator and men with a male mediator. This is why we have developed the concept of cross gender mediation. To avoid this preference issue, both a man and woman are offered to facilitate these cases at the cost of the usual single mediator. This company has as its major goal, keeping people who are at their most vulnerable condition, focused on their children first, if there are any, and their assets and liabilities as opposed to the unconstructive feelings that have lead them to this stage of their marriage, and to do so at a cost that will not deplete the parties bank accounts.

Family Law Attorney - The End Of A Love Story

The Story

Once a girl named Sally met a boy named Harry. They fell in love, got married, bought a house and had two kids. Day by day Harry starts to hate the fried eggs Sally cooked in the morning everyday; and Sally started to pay undue attention to a new French guy who had moved next door. Arguments started and grew into big fights; Harry filed for a divorce. Sally immediately took the advice of a family law attorney but Harry did not (after all it is her fault). Sally did not just employ any lawyer; she took the best family attorney of Beverly Hills. Sally did not work and the lawyer charged on fat hourly salary. End of the story: Sally got the house, the kids and with them, alimony and child support.


If you do not want to take the counsel of a family law attorney you better think twice, otherwise you will end up on the streets just like Harry. Family law lawyers are indispensable when filing a divorce where property, assets and children are involved. These kinds of lawyers are professionally trained to support you during your divorce. You will have to let them know from the start about every asset you have, pension plan and property etc. A family law attorney will work for your safety and will advise you on the best moves to make.

A good family divorce attorney will have a lot of experience and like our friend Sally; you might be rewarded for the traumatic experience of a failed marriage. The family law attorney per excellence will also support you emotionally and will make sure that you are able to maintain the lifestyle you had when you were married in future as well.

Equal To All

A family law attorney should not have gender bias, giving equal legal rights to both the father and the mother. He/She should also take into primary consideration children and should always make sure that they get all the psychological and financial benefits of the divorce, (Harry and Sally's children receive a lot of gifts, when the child support check arrives at the end of the month). The most important thing when choosing an attorney is to remember that if you hire an expensive one, you will benefit at a later stage, because the bill will be sent to the one who loses the divorce case. We wish all the best in your search and we hope that your next love story will never end!

What Do Family Law Firms Deal With?

Most of us do not hire family lawyers until we find ourselves trapped in a seemingly endless problem. We also do not bother knowing which law firm to go to in case we get across the need to have a legal consultation. Your family is probably your biggest investment in life. You have not just invested financially but you also invested emotionally, mentally and spiritually. So it would definitely hurt you to find your marriage, which is considered the foundation of your family, drowning in problems that are most likely going to end up in a divorce. With this, you have all the reason to protect your family by knowing which law firms can best help you in cases of unwanted family problems like divorce.

Family law firms can with your divorce or your separation from your partner. However, it does not end there. The firms also deal with other problems that may arise from your divorce. They deal with those things that would guarantee you and your child a secured future despite ending up in a broken family.

The usual causes of divorce are physical and mental abuse. If you have an abusive partner, you can protect yourself and other members of the family even prior to your divorce through restraining orders or protection from abuse orders. Both are things that the firms can deal with.

Child custody, child support, grandparents' rights and property division are among the biggest factors that prolong the process of divorce. But if you consult family law firms that have knowledgeable and experienced lawyers, these things can easily be resolved. You are guaranteed that your child's future and relationships with the other members of the family is not damaged. Family law firms that have well experienced family lawyers are also able to guarantee fair property division unless you have signed any agreement that restricts you from getting a share prior to your marriage.

If after your divorce you plan to get into a second marriage, you should also make sure to protect yourself and all your investments to make sure that you do not end up in dumps in case your second marriage does not work. Family law firms are able to deal with a prenuptial agreement or anything similar.

Although family law firms in general are able to help you mend broken family relationships, they are also able to help you create a family. If in case you and your partner would like to adopt a child, they can help you with all the necessary legal adoption processes that you would need to go through. Family law firms primarily deal with everything that you may need in order to have your ideal family if you are just looking to establish one and create a good family relationship despite not ending up in a perfect marriage. They deal with what would provide you and your family that security you need and the peace of mind when you move on with your lives after a huge trial.

Overview of Family Law Issues of Child Custody, Guardianship and Wills and Successions

The world of family law is very different than just about any other type of legal practice. One of the major differences is that unlike dealing with many of the business related areas in which lawyers practice - family law can get personal. These family attorneys regularly deal with issues such as divorce, child custody and support, unforeseen deaths, wills and successions. These are areas of our lives which invoke strong emotions and are not always easy to deal with.

Child Custody

The issues of child custody and guardianship are a factor of the high divorce rate in America compounded by the number of children born out of wedlock. Family law matters surrounding children involve designating custody, child and spousal support, parental rights, adoption as well as community property negotiation. And when there are kids involved, hopefully all parties can focus on the best interests of the entire family rather than strictly their own self interests.

When it comes to child custody - courts will generally choose one of the following types:

· Temporary custody - this is granted during the divorce or separation proceedings and is usually replaced with a more permanent solution.

· Exclusive custody - This is when one parent gets all of the custody rights to the child and the other parent is excluded.

· Joint custody - refers to when parents are granted some version of equal rights regarding the child's upbringing. Joint custody is usually reserved for situations where both parents are competent and able to carry about parental duties.

· Third party custody - if both parents are either incapacitated or deemed unfit, the courts can award custody to a third party and may include family members such as uncles, aunts and grandparents.

Guardianship Issues

Another issue facing parents is what to do if you do not have a trustworthy person to leave as a legal guardian or trustee for your children or heirs. When this scenario arises, guardianships can be used as a last resort.

A guardianship refers to a situation where a child or incapacitated adult needs someone to manage their assets. These are usually supervised and assigned through the court system and require extensive legal work to setup and manage, including annual accounting and restrictions as to how money can be used and spent.

Wills & Successions

Wills & successions are often thought of as "estate planning" instruments, but really they should be considered part of family law. Taking the time to plan for unforeseen events is a critical part of ensuring your family is protected and your wishes can be followed, especially if the unimaginable happens. If you want to know how important having even a simple will can be, simply ask anyone who has unexpectedly lost a family member who didn't have one!

What Is Family Law?

Family law includes all those laws that may affect you if you get married, separated, or divorced. It includes the laws that deal with marriage contracts, property division, child custody, access and support as well as spousal support. The family laws in Ontario are complex but there are many ways you can inform yourself about family law in Ontario and your options.

Whether you live in Toronto, Windsor, London, Barrie, Ottawa, Oshawa or any other location in Ontario, your local family court will have a Family Law Information Centre that can provide you with information for families separating, guides to court procedures, and information about mediation services in your community. In addition, family courts in Ontario may provide you with access to family lawyers for advice.

It is important to know that, with the exception of divorce, you do not have to go to court to settle your family law issues. Separation agreements are often an effective way to settle all issues surrounding your separation from your spouse including child custody, access, child support, spousal support, division of family property, and any other issues that arise from the marriage. In Ontario, an agreement cannot make a divorce effective. Only a court can grant a divorce.

It is recommended that you seek the advice of a family lawyer whether you are seeking information of marriage contracts or separating from your spouse. A family lawyer will ensure that you understand your legal entitlements.

This article is not intended to provide legal advice. It is recommended that you consult your family lawyer for advice concerning your particular case.

10 Reasons You Need a Family Law Solicitor

If you've come to the conclusion that you can't sort out your family issues amicably, then perhaps you need a family law solicitor to help you.

Here are some of the common reasons.

1. Many people will use a family law solicitor when they get divorced. If your marriage has ended, and can't be resolved, or you don't want to try and get back together, then you might be thinking about divorce. You'll want to get the right legal advice, so that you know what to do, and where you stand. Seeking legal advice will help you at this very traumatic time.

2. If you're not married, and living with your partner and you decide to split up, then you'll want to know what rights you have, especially if you have children, and you'll also want to know who gets to keep what.

3. If you do divorce or separate, and there are children involved, you'll still want to able to see your children if they don't live with you. Your family law solicitor will be able to help you to arrange time with your children, or so that their other parent can see them.

4. As well as parents, grandparents have rights too. If you're a grandparent and have been told that you can't see your grandchildren you might want to take legal advice.

5. As a result of your divorce or relationship breakdown, you might have to sell your house, or get rid of other assets and possessions. You'll want to make sure that you're getting the appropriate legal advice.

6. You might need legal help and advice with your finances after a divorce or at the end of a relationship. Your family law solicitor will be able to provide the assistance you need.

7. If you're planning a civil partnership, a family law solicitor will be able to advise you on your rights under law.

8. If you're getting married, then you might be considered having a pre-nup drawn up. Although not as popular here as in America, and not enforceable by law, a prenuptial agreement can show the intents and purposes before your wedding, and give you the reassurance you need.

9. If you're thinking about moving in with your partner, then you might want to know more about how it will affect you legally. Perhaps you'll want advice on cohabitation laws, or about paying your mortgage.

10. If you're suffering domestic violence, then you'll need to get out, and get your children out too. A family law solicitor can give you all the help you need, such as finding you accommodation, and being out of reach of your partner. With untraceable phone lines, and many other ways to stay hidden, your partner won't be able to find you.

Now you know more about the services they provide, perhaps you do need a family law solicitor.

Why Is It Important To Know Family Law?

If two people make the decision to marry, there is always a lot to consider. However, sometimes, those who have decided to get married settle down and end up in a divorce after they hit some personal problems. Some people never seem to recover after their traumatic experiences and they may not know what the right thing to do is.

Family law can cover a wide range of subjects for a family or to resolve personal disputes across a wide range of areas ranging from marriage and divorce to dealing with retirements and wills. It can be used to protect couples and guide them in their personal lives. If one or both people have significant assets prior to marriage and they are possibly looking to protect their own investments, then the couple could arrange for a prenuptial agreement that would identify this aspect and isolate them for individual benefits. The law also can cover many laws about domestic partnerships and civil unions. If after a couple marries, they are unable to produce children, they can legally adopt a child who would mean that the child takes the family's name and become their legal guardian.

However, family law can also provide protection for couples who are divorcing or having domestic issues. For example, if one partner is abusive towards the other, the victim can make use of that as grounds for a legal separation and perhaps going further to extract temporary restraining orders or protection orders that would prohibit the abusive partner hurting the victim again. It also allows couples to discuss child support and custodial issues so that both parents can maintain equal status and responsibility in the child's life. However, this is only if both parents are deemed fit enough to look after the child. If they are not, a judge may give custody to the parent deemed fittest to provide for a child. If this is the case, it would also entitle the custodial parent to child support which may ease the financial burden on the guardian. If an ex-partner is going beyond their limits, a judge might re-iterate their parental responsibilities and rights to make sure that everyone is kept safe and what is in the best interests of the child.

Family law also covers legal issues about preparing for the future such as planning for retirement and what someone may have to do in case they passed away unexpectedly. A couple or a person who is looking to outline and create a will would need to get a lawyer to sign and make the document legally binding. They should also make sure that the will is fulfilled properly after that person passes so that the correct people can inherit what has been passed down to them.

Therefore, it may be worth getting a basic understanding of family law as it can give protection and guidance over any important personal and domestic issues which everyone will encounter at some point in their lives.

What Is Family Law? - Key Secrets When Looking For Family Law Information

As everyday people, I'm sure you know how important it is to understand family law. If you're asking the question "what is family law", there are some time proven tips you should follow when searching out information.

  • See yourself looking through tons of law documents and legal papers. The key secrets are right in front of your face, and after all, there was a reason they have a law library in the first place, and by checking out your local college or law library, you will begin the process of your education.

  • Having a trust worthy destination to find up to date credible information on what is family law is only the beginning when learning family law. Now that you have decided to study family law its time to focus on what branch interest you. Although eventually the goal is to have a firm grasp in all areas.

  • It will take some take some time and dedication to your education and none of the your previous bad study habits may continue. Get ready to put 100% of your efforts into making some much-needed changes.

  • Take it slow when first starting your study plan. When you feel things are starting to make sense, do not rush the situation but let it happen naturally. With some much need time, you will feel the confidence. Have patient and don't let yourself get discouraged.

  • Remember to just give it time and things will eventually fall into place. Find yourself full of knowledge from the very start of your research/training. The great thing about all of this is you can train yourself from day one. Go about the new found subject with wisdom and certainty, after all your spending all these hours studying.

  • You ca find a ton of valuable resources online to help you learn the ins and outs of family law, but watch out for mis-information. always make sure you choose a trusted site. You can download a program called SEOquake which will tell you the ranking of a website you have visited. Look for a page rank of between 3 and 10 and if the site is on the first page of the major search engines.

  • Taking the time needed to find the right source for information is critical. As different laws pertain to each state in most of cases, it's very important to get the correct laws for each state. You can find a mountain of credible resources on what family law is if you put in the necessary time.

For more info, make sure and follow the link in the resource box below.

3 Questions That Will Concern You When Hiring Family Law Firms

Selecting a lawyer to represent you may be one of the most essential decisions you'll ever take. The more careful you are in selecting the best family law lawyer for you, the more assurance you'll have -- in the counsel and in the court process. Eventually, you want ideal success for yourself and your kids. Of course, you want to ask how much you'll be investing for lawyer solutions, how much for paralegal solutions, how and when you will pay, and how much of a retainer fee is necessary. But don't decide just by depending on charges. Here are a few concerns you should also ask before you consider selecting a particular family law firm.

Concern #1: Has the attorney been consented for ethics violation?

Attorneys are held to high moral expectations regarding how they exercise law and the support service they provide to clients. Each state's bar relationship handles its associates and, when necessary, professions legal professionals with supports to discipline for functions of professional wrong doings. Arizona's legal professionals must be associates current with the Condition Bar of Arizona in order to exercise law within the talk about.

A grievance submitted against an attorney can lead to reprimand, probation, restitution, and cancellation of the legal certificate to exercise law within the state. A relatively small breach may be the legal disaster to pay bar member subscribers appropriate, creating an automated cancellation and an easy solution.

Concern #2: Is he/she involved in Family law Firm?

The only consistent in family law is change, sometimes in an obvious way and sometimes in a hundred simple ways. The judges always experience regulations in another way, and our legislatures always pass new regulations and modify existing ones. Regulations of municipal procedure, evidence, and local court rules vary from one judge to the next. When the paralegal is centered on family law and is part of a Family law Firm, then that attorney is in synchronization with changing trends in the field.

Concern #3: Will this attorney be managing your situation, from the beginning to the end?

At some family law firms, the attorney you discuss your case with is not the attorney who will be representing you. Enabling your situation to be designated to whoever has the lightest load this week will not help you. You are not a commodity neither are legal professionals. Be sure to ask if the attorney you're finding will actually be the attorney managing your situation.

The Most Common Family Law Proceedings

Family law is one of the most important and most difficult areas of the legal system. It deals with families at their most difficult times. For those who are going through these types of situations, it is best to speak to an attorney that specializes in this area. You can protect those you love and use the law to help you to make the changes necessary to do that. Ultimately, finding the right attorney will make all of the difference. Are you struggling with personal decisions or complications that you need to resolve legally? If so, you are not alone.

Custody and Child Visitation

When parents cannot get along, it is often the child that suffers. Yet, after a divorce, separation or just from the start of the child's life, there are people fighting for their right to be a part of that child's life. One of the most difficult areas of family law focuses on child custody and visitation rights. Parents, grandparents, and siblings often want to be a part of each other's lives, but in some cases, there are reasons they should not be. When you want to protect your children and be a part of their lives, hire an attorney to help you through the process.

Divorce and Separation

Ending a marriage is difficult enough. An emotional bond is broken. No matter what the reason is, it has legal implications, as well as emotional ones. Because you are facing so many emotional changes and you are suffering, it is best to let someone help you through the legal process. The good news is that it is easy to do just that when you have an attorney by your side to guide your decisions and help you to get the best possible footing for your future.


Are you planning to adopt a child? No matter if it is a child you are biologically linked to or one from across the world, the process of making this lasting bond requires numerous legal steps. Though it is not easy to do, many parents-to-be will find the aid of an attorney is ideal to help them through this matter.

What other legal situations are you dealing with? Are you questioning the paternity of a child? Are you facing the termination of parental rights? Grandparent rights, spousal support, and orders of protection are additional steps you need to take in a court of law with the aid of an attorney. Family law has complexities, but with the aid of an attorney, you can navigate your way through these difficult situations to achieve the goals you have.

Rhode Island Family Law - Children, Schools, Schooling And Education

Though not specifically addressed within the realm of Rhode Island divorce proceeding, a particular issue has raised its head several times in my practice over the years in the form more of a particular factual set of circumstances rather than as a direct legal issue itself.

A recent call presented this scenario from a Rhode Island lawyer and colleague who was endeavoring to assist clients with a preplexing issue. It went something like this.

Two parents who have not yet become a divorce statistic have moved across the country. Their minor child has remained with a friend (unrelated by blood or marriage to either parent) here in Rhode Island to provide consistency with the child remaining in his current school system, etc. The parents would like to have the child remain with the friend through the remainder of his or her schooling. The friend is presumably agreeable to his as long as the parents continue to provide the financial support necessary for the child and that the friend is not held responsible for any liability of the child. The friend also needs the authority to be able to act in the best interests of the child and take legal action as necessary to enroll the child in programs, receive confidential health care information regarding the child, etc...

This of course causes a variety of questions to arise that the colleague wanted my input on. The general question was, how should this be done properly (i.e. legally) to be able to accomplish what they would like to do.

The tremendous number of Rhode Island family law questions that this factual situation presents is remarkable and therefore, I will end this particular blog post with the questions it raises rather than simply providing the answer I believe is appropriate under the circumstances.

Now you may be saying.... huh . . . Chris, what the heck are you doing? This is a Rhode Island Divorce Tips blog. What you've set your self up for is to give us TIPS and HELP on these issues, not to give us the darn questions and have us figure it out for ourselves!

This may or may not be a semi-useless exercise but it is one that I wanted to try. True, this is a Rhode Island Divorce Tips blog and that it is my intention to give at least some general guidance regarding the issues presented as opposed to any specific legal advice. Yet the one common thread that I have found in writing this Rhode Island divorce and family law blog is that when people contact me about these issues they rarely appreciate the nature and depth of the issues or the true value that are getting by some insight from a legal professional who is trying to assist in the understanding of these issues.

In truth, it seems that Rhode Islanders, divorce and family law clients, and even other Rhode Island lawyers who don't practice in the areas of divorce and family law have a greater appreciation of the the depth and complexity of these legal problems and issues if they at least consider the questions. . . .or by considering the number and type of questions that present themselves to a legal practitioner when he or she either endeavors to provide some helpful information on a Rhode Island legal issue
relating to divorce and family law.

Ultimately, is you consider the Rhode divorce and family law questions presented before receiving the answer directly, you gain a better understanding and appreciation of what legal professionals offer in their services and perhaps why their education is so costly which often necessitates rates that seem out of whack with today's minimum wage.

All this digression from the topic aside, consider these various questions that this scenario presents:

1. Can an unrelated person be given legal authority over all aspects of their minor child's life?

2. Can custodial rights be given or assigned to another person?

3. What are the bodies of rights that a parent has with respect to a child?

4. How would you absolve people who take in your child from any liability for decisions relating to your child?

5. If you have your child stay with an unrelated person iin a particular school district n order to keep the child in a particular school system, is this perpetrating a fraud upon the school department.

6. If you can place your minor child with another person voluntarily and you do so, what are your obligations to support that minor child?

7. If place your minor child with an unrelated person voluntarily and with the person's consent and agree to continue to support the child but assign the child's care to that unrelated person, who is responsible for the minor child's transgressions if he or she decides to damage school property?

The questions are truly endless. What are your thoughts? What else should you consider? These are all questions that are very specific and your matter is factually driven. There is no real set answer to any general questions such as these that could be included in an article such as this. In my opinion, the best you can hope for is to be informed and to think about all the concerns that need to be presented to the Rhode Island attorney that your approach to seek guidance about your factual situation.

When approaching an attorney about these issues, list all the issues and concerns in the form of questions and present to the attorney a detailed picture of all the facts and relationships based on all the possible scenarios that may be encountered both by you as a parent or as a caregiver for the child. It is only be identifying all the facts and the anticipated issues that you want the caregiver to address and/or be protected on when executing those duties that a good Rhode Island family law practitioner will be able to provide you with sound legal advice to address your particular facts and circumstances.

Family Law Software - Create Your Child Custody Agreement With Custody Software

Today there is more and more software being developed for family law. There are software programs that aid with divorce, adoption, child custody etc. One particular type of child custody software are programs that allow the user to create a child custody agreement. This is beneficial to attorneys because it can save them countless hours of time figuring out schedules and counting days and it gives them a nice calendar to present to their client. And, this program also helps divorced parents because they can make their own child custody agreements and save money in legal fees. Here are some of the features and benefits that these programs have.

The most basic thing that a custody program should do is allow you to easily create a nice calendar with your visitation schedule. User interface is important for this. Some programs are very difficult to figure out and will actually bring you more hassle then help. It should be very easy to simply click on a basic schedule that you want and have that applied to a year. Then you should easily be able to add holidays, special events, recurring events that change the schedule, and vacation time. The easiest type of program to work with is one that lets you click on the day of the calendar where you want the other parent to have custody. This type of program actually saves you time.

Certain cases need certain features in their software. Some software lets you put time toward a third party--like daycare, school, or a grandparent. If this is a component that's important to you, find a program that lets you do it.

You can also find programs that allow you to create your entire agreement along with a calendar. With these you can add provisions and stipulations that print out with the calendar. That is nice for parents to see and think about, and it can also help the attorneys save time.

One very helpful feature that a custody program can do is calculate time-share and overnight percentages. These are the numbers that are used when determining child support--and they are also very difficult to figure out. No attorney or staff has the time to count the hours and days in a parenting plan to figure out this number. The computer can automatically keep track while you create the schedule. Parents also want this number because they want to make sure the child support is being calculated correctly. Also, it's handy to see the percentages because it gives the parents a good idea of how much time they have with the children.

Because there are so many programs available for creating parenting plans, you should be able to find one that fits your needs. Look around before you purchase one. It's always a good idea to give the software a trial run--and any program worth buying will let you have a free trial. Download a few until you find one that can help your family law case.

Divorce Mediation Using a Family Law Or Child Custody Attorney As a Mediator

Mediation is the process in which parties attempt to settle and resolve disputes, divide property, and determine child custody issues using a Rhode Island Mediator.

The purpose of the mediation process is an attempt to curtail a long, contentious and expensive court battle in Rhode Island Family Court. A mediator is a neutral third party who seeks to facilitate a settlement or compromise rather than decide the case. Rhode Island Family Court Judges decide Cases. Rhode Island Divorce Lawyers advocate for their clients best interest and seek to get their client the best disposition possible.

Mediators are neutral and attempt to facilitate an agreement between the parties. A mediator is similar to a referee. A mediator seeks to facilitate creative solutions to problems, disputes and feuds. Mediation occurs in a Lawyers conference room not a courtroom and should be less stressful than a contested divorce or child custody battle.

Mediation should be less expensive than a litigated RI divorce. Mediation allows you to resolve your Divorce, Child Custody Dispute or Family Law Case on your schedule not the Courts schedule. Mediation is usually a lot less time consuming then a contested divorce. Mediation allows you to Come to a mutually agreed upon result rather than having a disposition forced upon you.

Mediation sessions could also occur in the middle of a RI Contested Divorce in which both parties have Rhode Island Divorce or Family Court Case or Family Lawyers representing them. The parties can meet with the mediator in the middle of the divorce and seek to obtain a compromise that the Lawyers / Attorneys were unable to achieve. In some divorce cases, it becomes increasingly obvious that it is the attorneys who are battling more than the clients and it is the attorneys who appear to need a "divorce".

The Rhode Island divorce process can be destructive to the children and the parties.

A contested divorce may involve endless posturing between the parties and attorneys in Family Court. There is often bickering and petty disputes that occurs in Providence, Kent, Washington and Newport Family Court. There is often endless waiting for a court hearing or trial that may never happen. There is often endless court dates, and nonstop continuances. The Divorce process can be a long, drawn out battle involving a massive amount of legal fees, countless court appearances and incredible amounts of stress.

Mediation allows the parties to skip the expensive and often stressful process of competing attorneys posturing to get leverage. Mediation is a way to avoid endless court appearances, endless continuances, waiting in Court

The Sad reality is that often the parties could have come up with the same resolution of their disputes at the beginning of the case through the mediation process without the huge combined legal bill, without the missed days of work and without the stress.

The Mediation Process can help parents learn how to co-parent and come up with a visitation schedule or custody plan on their own terms.

Many parties should at least try mediation as a way to attempt to settle their divorce on their own terms. Mediation allows parties to be invested in resolving their disputes rather than allowing the judge to make the decision.

Divorce is usually not a "win- loss" process. Rhode Island is an equitable division of assets state Therefore, no one usually completely "wins" in a Rhode Island divorce. A mediator can help the parties come to an equitable division of the Real Estate, Pensions, 401k, boats, cars, businesses, property, cd's, marital debts.

-Stop the Madness,
- End the "divorce war",
-Curtail out of control legal fees,
-Divorce with Dignity,
-Protect your Children from the adverse consequences of a contested divorce,
- Become invested in the process,

-At least attempt an amicable settlement before the Divorce battle begins.

If the parties cannot agree and are not willing to make at least some concessions to their positions / claims then mediation will probably not work. If the mediation is successful then Rhode Island Mediator David Slepkow will draft a memorandum of understanding or a Parenting plan.

Attorneys legal Notice per RI Rules of Professional Responsibility:

The Rhode Island Supreme Court licenses all lawyers in the general practice of law, but does not license or certify any lawyer or attorney as an expert or specialist in any field of practice.

Family Law - Finding a Good Lawyer

Family law is the term given to the law practice area covered by a family attorney. The issues these lawyers mostly deal with involve legal relationships between and among spouses, children, and domestic partners. The lawyer who specializes in family laws need to have knowledge regarding a range of issues, right from child custody problems, visiting rights of a parent, domestic violence cases, divorce cases, issues involving juveniles, property rights, support obligations, foreign relatives to adoption rights. However, family law can vary from state to state.

In family law, the lawyers come across a number of different situations. In property division cases for example, the common understanding is court divides the property equally but, if you are in Texas, courts there believe in the "just and right" attitude. They weigh both the party's situation and rights and then they give away the final decision. Sometimes if there is an involvement of children, the property might be divided unequally. If the case at hand us about divorce, Texas courts would first resolve the issue on properties, child custody and support. This does not take a very long time, however, as these are done all at the same time. In lawyer speak, this is what they call as "no bifurcation".

There are many ways by which you can get in touch with a Texas family lawyer, the most common of which is online. There are a number of online directories that could give you contact details of family lawyers in your area. You can also ask for referrals from your family and friends.

When looking for a lawyer, you have to take into consideration several issues, one of which is the area of expertise of the lawyer. Check whether the lawyer you have in mind has a solid background in the area of your problem. Keep in mind that family lawyers can indulge in different types of cases. Do not be ashamed to ask them how long they have been practicing family law, and if he or she has handled a case similar to yours as well as what the outcome was. Check also what strategy they have in mind for your case. It is also advisable that you discuss financial matters with him or her before getting their services. This would include the mode of payment, hourly rates, and miscellaneous expenses (telephone calls, faxes, photocopies, etc.). That way, you have time to prepare yourself financially. Some lawyers would also allow you to negotiate directly with your spouse while some would even suggest that you undergo a marriage counselling first. You should also note where you could get in touch with them in cases of emergency.

Family Law Counsel

There are many specialties in the legal world. Here is what family law experts cover.

Attorneys often specialize in one or more legal areas and one of those specialties is family law. Some other examples include criminal, DUI, business and tax, bankruptcy and the more personal legal issues which make up the arena of family law. If a person needs legal advice in dealing with issues pertaining to their children, spouse or parents, they should seek the advice of an expert who has experience dealing with families' concerns. Here are some of the more common cases that they work on:

- Divorce: When a marriage relationship has ended, legal actions must be taken in order to divide the assets, debts, and determine parental rights. Having competent advice during this life change can make or break a person's financial and emotional world for years to come.

- Legal Separation: A legal separation is very similar to a divorce except that the parties cannot remarry. Some couples choose this over a divorce because of health insurance, retirement benefits or property division issues. The financial lives of each person will be severed but other rights and obligations such as health and retirement benefits will be retained.

- Child Custody: A legal decision must be made after dissolution of marriage occurs regarding the caretakers of the union's children. Examples include joint or shared custody, custodial and visiting parent and even rights for grandparents.

- Child Support: Regardless of who has custody of the kids, both parents are responsible for their offspring's financial support until their brood reaches 18 years of age. Support obligations that are not voluntarily adhered to by either parent will need to be enforced by the courts.

- Adoption: When a couple or individual chooses to adopt a baby or children, this is a legal process that involves protecting the best interests of all parties concerned. The process needs be monitored and overseen by a family law attorney.

- Paternity rights and obligations: Legal help is sometimes necessary in order to give a father his rights to his children even if he is not married to the mother of his kids. Paternity issues also arise when an unmarried father is not assuming financial responsibility for his offspring and must be forced to do so by the court system.

- Juvenile court issues: If there are problems concerning the law with an adolescent, the legal system may step in to help alleviate or correct the problems.

- Foster care: When a child enters the foster care system, he or she will need the expert oversight and advice of a lawyer to make certain that the child is placed with a qualified foster family and that financial needs are taken care of.

Individuals and their relatives who need legal representation should go to the professionals. All of the above needs can be competently addressed by a good firm.

Chinese Family Law Review of Child Custody

A major shakeup of family law is currently occurring in China where a new proposal calls for a review of child custody procedures after the death of one parent. This proposal has been sparked by an even which happened in 2008. The Chinese actress Choi Jin-sil had sole custody of her two male children. In 2008 she committed suicide. Jun-sil's mother did not want the boys' father to gain custody of the children insisting that he was no more able to care for them when he had been denied any custody previously. This sparked a review of child custody cases in China if the parent with sole custody dies.

At present, there are no regulations for who will take care of the child after the parent with sole custody passes away. However, that is all about to change. On Tuesday February 2nd a revision to the law which states that the surviving parent must be evaluated by the court before they are granted full custody was passed in the Cabinet. After it has been ratified by the National Assembly it will come into effect three months from that date.

If the National Assembly does ratify the review to the family law, it means that any parent who wants to take on custody of their child will be evaluated by the court to ascertain their ability to do so. If they are judged to be unfit for any reason, the child will move into the custody of a different legal guardian. This will be a close relative if possible or someone that the child knows and trusts. It has not been made clear who will gain custody of the child if the surviving parent is denied custody and there are no other alternative guardians.

Do You Need a Family Law Solicitor?

Relationships sometimes breakdown and, when they do, you may be wondering what to do next. Here are 10 situations when a family law solicitor could be what you need.

1. Divorce is never easy, particularly from an emotional point of view, but once a decision has been taken to end the marriage, it doesn't have be a bumpy journey. Legal support will help you make sure everything you should be doing gets done.

2. You don't have to be married to live with someone, but if that relationship should come to an end, you do have rights and legal experts can help you find out what they are. This is particularly important if you have children from the relationship.

3. If there are children in a relationship, married or not, and it comes to an end, there are often issues regarding custody. If the children are not going to be living with you, a solicitor can help to arrange times to see them. If they are going to live with you, the solicitor can also help arrange a time for your ex-partner to see the children.

4. It's not just the parents that may benefit from legal support when children are concerned. Grandparents also have rights with regards to their children's children. So in the event that a grandparent has been told they can't see their grandchildren, a family law solicitor could help.

5. Even if children aren't involved, there may be other important issues for people coming out of a relationship to discuss - including property and possessions. If they need to be sold, then legal advice could help with the sale and the splitting of the payment.

6. Finances are another tricky issue, when a marriage ends. If your situation has changed drastically as a result of the the break-up, you may need a solicitor to help explain what you may be entitled to.

7. People entering into or breaking up from a civil partnership may also benefit from a family law solicitor. It's important to know your rights and they can help you prepare for the partnership or, in the event of a split, life afterwards.

8. While Pre-nuptials are more commonly associated with celebrity marriages, particularly in the United States, they still exist in the UK and when couples decide that assets of one or both partners should be protected, an agreement can be drawn up at the beginning. A solicitor will help ensure this is professionally and legally carried out, as well as explaining how it would work in the event of a break-down in the relationship.

9. You may need a family solicitor in the event that you decide to move in with a partner. There are cohabitation laws that you may need to know, while you may require support if moving into the home your partner is currently paying a mortgage on.

10. Domestic violence victims should turn to a family law solicitor to help them escape their situation as soon as possible. Whether you need help securing new accommodation, untraceable telephone lines or any other form of protection, they can help you remain safe and free of your partner.

If any of these circumstances relate to you, then why not find a family law solicitor to help you?

Most Common Family Law Questions

Work and family constitute a major part of the common person's life. When it comes to legal issues, it stands to reason that family law issues would be among the most frequently encountered problems, and people often need assistance, insight and guidance. It is no wonder that these are the most commonly asked questions of experts on question-and-answer sites. Here are some of the most commonly asked family law questions.

Questions about Harassment

Harassment can either be physical or mental, direct or indirect. Each type of harassment has its own legal implications. Regardless of whether the harassment is physical or verbal, real world or online, it is usually against the law. Harassment can also be in the form of stalking, which can be a civil as well as a criminal offense depending on your state of residence.

Questions about caregivers' rights

Being a caregiver is often a thankless job. It can have legal implications if you are not legally the guardian of the person you are caring for, if you are caring for the person's monetary assets, or if the person is not proven to be fully incompetent. The legal rights and limitations of a caregiver under each of the above scenarios can lead to a number of important questions.

Questions about Runaways

The laws regarding runaway children vary from state to state. In most cases, reporting a child as a runaway is considered valid if the child is 16 years or younger. Once the child is 17 years or older, the laws can change altogether. The child's age and state of residence can have a bearing on whether the child is legally allowed to leave or considered a runaway. Some of the common questions people have regarding runaways are: At what age is a child a runaway? When can you report a runaway? Is it a violation of family law if you shelter a runaway? There are no simple answers to these questions. Being aware of the statutory provisions of your state regarding runaways is the only way to be sure.

Questions about Adultery and Infidelity

Adultery is considered a crime in some states while other states consider it a misdemeanor. Depending on where you live, the law and implications of adultery can vary. Issues regarding adultery are never simple and usually have nuances that can lead to many questions. The most common among them are: What constitutes adultery? What is the fine for adultery? Can adultery result in incarceration?

Questions about Divorce due to Adultery

Whether adultery and infidelity can be used against someone in a divorce case depends on the state. The law in each state varies. Courts also consider whether there are children involved or not, and the ruling can vary based on these and many other considerations.

Family law spans many issues and aspects of family and inter-personal relationships. The implications of family law can raise many questions. Being aware of the provisions of family law in your state and in your situation is the only way to stay on the right side of the law.

Family Law - Don't Let Disputes Tear Your Family Apart

When you are faced with disputes and disagreements within your family and have trouble reaching solutions or keeping things amicable, it may be time for you to hire an attorney that specializes in family law. Even though everyone may have the best of intentions when they are trying to resolve disputes, everyone knows that things can get a bit testy no matter what the situation is. Family law attorneys have a wide area of expertise. They handle everything from divorces, legal separations, child support, alimony, custody disputes, adoptions, paternity issues, division of assets in divorces and more.

Depending on your particular situation, you may feel that you can get things resolved in a fast manner without having to go to court. Since family issues often results in both sides letting their emotions get the best of them, it is imperative to keep the lines of communication from breaking down and hire a family law attorney. You want to avoid letting things get out of hand and to keep things professional and any agreements completely legal, you can always request an arbitration with a family law attorney.

By utilizing the services of a family law firm, you can help to get personal matters resolved in your favor. Sometimes if you don't know what your rights are, you can end up being taken advantage of or having things ruled against you. If you want to give yourself a fighting chance, you need to make sure you have the right legal counsel that money can buy.

When you need assistance or simply legal advice, you can always go to a law firm that handles domestic affairs. You can get expert advice and receive guidance about what needs to occur for things to be resolved in your favor. Who knows, you may need help coming up with a good strategy or arrangement. It is always a good idea to hire legal representation when things need to be determined and they involve assets, children and legal issues.

Make sure that when you select an attorney, they have a good reputation. They should also have a lot of expertise and knowledge about laws regarding domestic and family situations. Since the laws regarding these areas can be quite extensive and complex, instead of trying to figure out what you need to do, a lawyer can help guide you.

Don't be ashamed or afraid to ask for help when things start to get a bit out of control. Sometimes it is necessary for you to seek legal counsel because the other party is being unrealistic and overly demanding. To prevent yourself from being treated unfairly, you should make sure that you don't enter into any agreements or attempt to do any litigation without proper counsel.

Do yourself a favor and stop making a stressful situation even worse by keeping matters professional and letting your lawyers handle everything. This way no personal feelings will get involved and cause any complications.

Do It Yourself Divorce/Family Law - Free California Resources

There has been a huge upsurge in the number of people who represent themselves in their divorce and other family law cases. Those other types of Family Law cases include paternity, domestic violence, dissolution of domestic partnership, annulment and custody cases. In some California jurisdictions, 80% of the filings have at least one person who is representing themselves. To help the courts handle so many people unfamiliar with the legal system, the courts, other state agencies and some non-profit agencies have established programs to help the DIY (Do It Yourself) litigants. This article will be the first of two to refer you to those resources for California family law cases. If you must file in another state, check your state court web site, that of your state bar association and visit your local law library. You will find similar information for your state there.

The web site for the California courts is a great source of information. Remember, though, that all of the government sites provide only general information, not legal advice on how to best present your particular case and that the information is available to both sides. Keeping this proviso in mind, the official sites can be very helpful.


The court web site offers all of the forms that are used in California. They can be viewed, printed and often may also be filled out electronically before they are printed. The site has a drop down menu which groups the forms by topics. In the "self help" section, there are some articles which tell you what forms you need specifically for different purposes, but not for all. There are many on-line businesses which also offer the forms and help you fill out the correct ones. However, they have their limitations. Besides charging money, they do not provide legal advice on what is best for you to say in your individual case. Also, they often limit their services to uncontested cases, those in which everything is settled, in which there are no disputes. If that is your case and you are willing to spend around $300 in addition to the court costs, use one of them. If there is a dispute or you don't want to spend the money, there are other alternatives. A paragraph on the court web site reads:

Going to Court Without a Lawyer? Need Help? The California Courts Self-Help Center can help you find the right forms - and provide other assistance with your case.


The court's web site is at http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov. The self help center at that site has more resources than I can list here. There is a section on Links and Resources which offers dozens of pamphlets and videos on the family law court experience including how to choose the right forms, what to do with them, how to prepare the domestic violence paperwork, what to do if you are served with that paperwork, what the child support and custody mediation processes are like, and more. There is a section on Free and Low Cost Help which can't give specific referrals, but which points you in the right direction. There are sections on Getting Ready for Court and on the court fees. Spend time here and you'll come away with a good idea on how to proceed.

FAMILY LAW FACILITATOR: http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/selfhelp/lowcost/

Every California family law court has an office of the family law facilitator connected to it. Their function is to help the do it yourself, self represented client get through the court process. They help you fill out the forms, though again, without giving legal advice, and tell you how to file and serve them. Since the service is free and, given the state's budget crisis, there may be a wait to get help. So long as you remember that their service is neutral, that it supports neither your side nor the other, that they can also help the other side, and that you don't expect direction on the substance of your case, the facilitators are very useful.

Family law lawyers are just beginning to realize that many people either can't afford to, or simply don't want to retain them. People now often simply want to use an attorney as a resource to provide the legal advice that the state services cannot. Legal support, rather than legal control, is a new form of service that is just beginning to appear.

Family Law Services

Family law tends to be quite complex. In addition to that, the cases related to it tend to be extremely emotional. In case you are financially unable to get a good attorney for such a case, consider getting pro bono or free representation or at least an attorney who charges a smaller fee. Family law services are a must in case you are dealing with such a matter.

There are some special types of law organizations that have proven that they can provide quality, experience and effectiveness when it comes to representation of members of families in difficult cases. Moreover, some of them work for a symbolic fee. Therefore, limited financial means do not equal lack of representation options.

Legal organizations are created in order to provide legal assistance in cases related to families that can be quite diverse. These might include child custody, divorce and child visitations. The typical legal organizations surely provide these fundamental types of representations at a fee that is based on the income of the client.

A very common type of organization that provides legal aid is the not-for-profit agency. It provides a very wide range of legal services for cases of all types. Such a legal aid agency does not take a fee or takes a very small fee based on the income. Another type of program for legal aid is the one offered in some law schools.

Almost all such schools located in the US offer clinical programs that help economically disadvantaged clients get the legal services they need. This way such citizens get the legal representation they deserve in court. A not-for-profit organization provides a lawyer for you to represent you during your case.

In the case of a law school legal clinic, you are provided with a last year student to represent you instead of a real attorney. The student chosen for this task is qualified to provide legal assistance of the required type. A licensed attorney supervises the work of the student on the case.

The benefits of taking part in one of those not-for-profit programs are that you get represented and that you have a bigger chance to win the case. You need not deal with the court issues on your own and wonder whether the decisions you are making are right. Family law services can be obtained even for free and are always the best option when it comes to solving any family matter in court.

Family Law - Dealing With Child Custody, Support and Alimony

What Is Family Law?

When a couple with children divorces, the hardest issues to resolve generally involve custody decisions. Such matters fall under the auspices of family law, a practice area concerned with issues such as marriage, divorce, adoption, child custody, child support and other challenges that face families.

In some but not all states, matters pertaining solely to family law are heard in special courts called family courts. States that use family courts include New York, Hawaii, Delaware, Maine and North Carolina. In other states, circuit courts may address family law in addition to other legal matters.

Family Law and Child Custody Agreements

Nearly all courts encourage parents to come up with a child custody arrangement without judicial intervention. Parents can design a plan themselves or with the help of a trained professional mediator.

In instances when parents for whatever reason are unable to negotiate an arrangement, the court will come to a decision for them using a standard that considers the best interests of the child. Each state has its own laws setting forth criteria that determine how this standard should be determined, however these laws share one basic assumption: Except in cases where a parent has been convicted of a crime involving violence or sexual abuse, it is generally accepted that a child's best interests include a continuing relationship with both parents. This means that custody will be shared in some manner whether the child spends time with both parents on an equal basis or one parent retains physical custody and the other has visitation rights.

Other factors the court evaluate in determining child custody include:

  • The ability of each parent to provide a safe, secure environment.
  • The degree to which parents are able to work together to promote the best interests of their child.
  • If a parent has functioned as the primary caretaker.
  • For a child over the age of 12, his or her own wishes.

Spousal Support (Alimony)

Another issue that comes under the jurisdiction of family law is spousal support or alimony. Alimony functions to mitigate the negative economic effects that divorce may have on the spouse who either is not earning a wage or is earning a lower wage than his or her erstwhile partner.

Courts have considerably more discretion in awarding alimony than they have in awarding custody. The Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act, adopted by many states as a model in this regard, suggests that the following criteria be assessed in determining alimony:

  • Length of the marriage.
  • Spouses' standard of living throughout the marriage/
  • Age, financial status and physical and emotional state of the spouses/
  • Length of time it would take for the non-earning or lesser earning spouse to become financially independent/
  • Ability of the spouse charged with making payments to support both the spouse receiving alimony and himself or herself.

Family Law Lawyers

Compared to all other types of legal practices, family law is perhaps the most sensitive and difficult to practice. The reason for this is because family law is dealing with issues such as divorce, legitimacy, child abuse, adoption, annulments, inheritance and family property disputes. This is why, when choosing a family law lawyer it is important to choose somebody who knows how to be sensitive when dealing with these types of unpleasant issues. A family lawyer who is good at his or her job will be able to minimize the pain when dealing with issues such as child custody and divorce issues.

Apart from dispensing legal advice family law lawyers will have additional responsibilities such as offering emotional support in an impartial and sympathetic way. A good family lawyer will win the trust of the client by listening to needs of the client. It is a careful balance between maintaining a professional attitude and keeping a personal touch with client.

Lawyer's fees will depend on what type of case the lawyer is working on. Some lawyers will charge an hourly fee and others will charge only after the case has been filed and a settlement is reached. For divorce cases it will depend on various situations such as, if there is child custody issues or property sharing issues. Most family law lawyers will charge by the hour for the simple reason that it is just easier. Hourly rates are influenced by two different situations, the region and county where the case will be tried. In extreme cases where the client is not financially stable enough to afford lawyers fees the court will grant what is known as Pendente Lite. A Pendente Lite is in a way a type of grant to help take care of low income clients while the court proceedings are ongoing.

The following are some useful tips to keep in mind when it comes time to choose a family law lawyer.
Experience: always try and get a lawyer who has a lot of experience. Only an experienced lawyer will know all of the subtle nuances of family law.

Location & Fee: Everybody would like to use the best lawyer available in town. Unfortunately the best ones will cost a good deal to hire. Location of the lawyer's office is also important as you may have to visit them on a regular basis.

Reputation: It is important to find out what the lawyers reputation is amongst both clients and other lawyers. This will help give you a good idea of the lawyer's level of competency.

Family Law Solicitors: Make It the Right Choice

If you require family law solicitors, it is important to be selective and expect the chosen firm to assist you with your legal queries throughout the process. However, given the array of competition, to be selective, there are certain tactical issues to look out for which help distinguish the good from the weak. Therefore, first and foremost, whilst searching, don't just pick the first firm that you see - a simple statement, however, statistics reveal a person will be impressed by what is initially presented to them, but under no circumstances is this an effective barometer for determining a suitable firm.

Instead, incorporate a system that selects the relevant information and criteria to judge a suitable candidate for your up and coming case by comparing the services on offer. Start by asking for a recommendation from somebody you know, or perhaps, word of mouth can often be the most efficient way of spreading information, so visit your friends and relatives to ask them of their experiences with such professionals because the services they got before should influence the kind of person you select for the work.

Once in the deliberating stages, there are several such techniques you can apply, which selects them based on merit and their ability - because essentially, this will be the ultimate residing factor which will determine the outcome of your case. This may be a timely exercise, however a face to face consultation is usually known as one of the most effective measures to undertake - effectively, the format can be delivered similar to an interview, allowing you to apply the appropriate pressure on the solicitor by preparing questions that can help uncover their attributes and ability to concisely present a clear message with minimal use of jargon.

Remember that you must have confidence in their ability to represent and assist you so ensure you are comfortable with them. You will be sharing with them sensitive information about your private life and relations so ensure you have enough faith in them to assist you.

In addition, for extra assistance turn to the internet to collect the information you need to make an appropriate selection because you will be able to save time in finding a suitable person. You will find lots of useful information online which you can use to your advantage to select the best candidate for the job. Go over their Frequently Asked Questions page and see if you can have your queries answered - this will be useful for helping decide relevant questions, and perhaps, provide a good basis which allows you to expand the difficultly of questions

Locality is always an issue whilst settling for solicitors, never mind specific family law solicitors. This enables the conversing of information to be dealt with more promptly - particularly when you will often require to meet the solicitor, rather than continuously talk over the phone or via email. A useful technique, but to ensure progression, having regular consultation meetings will be required.

Introduction to Family Law

The legal world is broken up into specific niches. The most commonly known are the fields of criminal and civil law where people are either accused of crimes or sued for money, respectively. Family law has become much more prominent as a field in the last forty years and we take a look at it in this article.

Ask someone what family law is all about and one word is continually mentioned - divorce. This is hardly a surprise since divorce is a part of the field and tends to get much more attention because it can be very splashy such as when two celebrities decided to call it quits. Ironically, the first legal issue a couple may face is not divorce, but prenuptial agreements before they actually wed. Regardless, both are considered the bedrocks of family law. That doesn't mean they are the only legal niches.

A divorce with a childless couple is one thing, but a divorce where kids involved is another. There is a small library of law in each state dealing with the two subjects that inevitably pop up. The first is child custody where the divorcing parents try to work out who the child will live with and how often the other spouse will get to see them. The second issue is child support where the court has to order one spouse to provide the other with compensation for caring for the child.

There is a certain negative connotation to the above three areas and rightly so. Our last area, however, is all positive. Adoption is considered a part of the family law niche and is critical in that it places orphans with parents desiring a child. It is literally a match made in heaven, a definite win -win. Attorneys providing adoption services consistently rate as the most satisfied it the practice of law. There are other odds and ends when it comes to family law, but these are the big four. This is often viewed as a brutal area of the law, but it need not be as adoption services can show.

Family Law Firms: Choosing The Right Divorce Lawyer

No one is a winner when it comes to getting divorced. But, you do need to not only get the best possible resolution; you also need to protect yourself and your children's best interest. There is no other way to get on with the rest of your life. Having the right family law firm on your side is crucial.

Choosing the correct attorney could be your most critical decision in successfully confronting your Family Law issues and beginning the next phase of your life.

Remember to keep in mind:

Your divorce lawyer is not your personal therapist. This is not the person to be talking to if you have any unaddressed emotional or psychological issues. They are only there to assist you legally.

Your divorce lawyer is not a minister or priest. If you really need spiritual advice, your lawyer is not going to cut it.

Your divorce lawyer should absolutely not represent both you and your spouse. There is just no way to be completely neutral to both parties. It is true that an attorney can represent one side with the other continuing without a lawyer. You should however be extremely cautious of any lawyer claiming they can represent both sides in a divorce.

Choosing the correct family law firm can help you retain your financial security. But, choosing the wrong one can cause you to lose assets that you should retain. Worst of all an incompetent lawyer could also cause you to lose your parental rights as well.

What you want is a knowledgeable attorney that is willing to fight tooth and nail for you. They should also walk you through the entire process and respect what you need during this hard time. Many times litigants will change lawyers multiple times before the case is even concluded. The reason being is that they do not put in the time or effort to properly find the right family law firm.

The process of divorce when you take it down to its essence is simply two people coming to an agreement about no longer staying married and figuring out how to best live their lives apart. Throughout this there are several key things that need to be resolved:

Parenting Schedules, Financial Support and Child Custody - You need an experienced family lawyer to handle this area as it is very complex.

Finance Matters - Money, banking accounts, money market funds and anything relating to your joint finances

Retirement Finances - IRAs, pensions, pre-determined retirement plans and anything relating to your retirement

Property - All tangible items including cars, jewelry, tools, furniture, photographs and all personal property needs to be sorted out

Life Insurance - Whole life insurance policies have cash value

Your Debts - I know that no one wants to take responsibility of the financial debts that come from a marriage but this is a complicated and critical subject for your lawyer to handle.

Spousal Support - Sometimes spousal support is granted if one party earns more money than the other in comparison. The length of the marriage will also determine how much is paid for spousal support.

The family law firm that you choose should fit the following criteria and should follow these standards:

Complete Knowledge Of Family Law

Without a doubt the overall thing you want in a family law attorney is knowledge of family law. Experienced family law firms will not only be familiar with the law but will also be up to date on legal trends and the legal system in general. A good lawyer will be able to handle any emergency that might come up during your case and handle it effortlessly.

Comfort Level

You are after all paying for their services so you should be at ease and always treated with respect. Often going with your instincts will help you choose the right lawyer. It is very important that you feel comfortable with your attorney so you don't hesitate to ask about anything, no matter how trivial you think it is.

Do They Want To Win?

Although this can be pretty difficult to figure out during your first visit it is much more likely that they will be aggressive and determined to win for you if they are exited at the onset. A disinterested lawyer will miss many facts about your case.

Do They Have Support?

Any good family law firm has multiple staff members including other attorneys and paralegals. The more complicated your case the more assistance will be needed. Oftentimes specialists are called in to help your case. Having the proper people supporting them will allow your lawyer to be more focused.

Divorce can be a very stressful and emotionally painful experience. In a difficult time such as this it's not only tough on you but on your family as well. Now is not the time to have the additional stress of wondering if you picked the right lawyer.

The lawyer that you have representing you should not be an obstacle. They should be experienced, strong and ready to fight for you and your best interests. With a good lawyer at your side you can focus on your family's emotional status. You will only make this time harder on yourself by not carefully choosing the right lawyer.

Reasons to Hire a Family Law Attorney

If you and your spouse have come to the unfortunate decision to file for divorce, I don't have to tell you how much is at stake. The most important thing you can do is find a family law attorney to have on your side through this difficult and stressful process. The following are some reasons why you would want to get a professional on your team:

Knowledge & Understanding to the many options in the Divorce Process: If you take some time and hire an experienced family law attorney, they will have had much experience handling divorce cases such as yours and will be able to tell you inside and out the options you have or actions you can take in your divorce. These are areas such as division of your property and assets, child support and child custody, as well as mediation.

Taking over the reigns - Put out the Fire: A huge advantage to hiring a family law attorney is turning the reigns over to them regardless of your situation. Turning all of the painful details and irritation of your divorce to your lawyer can be a great thing. For one, it allows you to not carry your emotions or any built up anger into negotiation. Your family law attorney can help put out the fire between you and your spouse. Usually more negotiation will get done once two lawyers are involved in the process because they are both objective.

Strength in Negotiation: Your family law attorney will have experience in negotiating with other lawyers which you probably do not have. If you try and represent yourself in your divorce, it is likely the lawyer your spouse hired will try to push you around. Having a family law attorney on your team will stop this from happening. Their experience with negotiating with other lawyers from their previous cases will give you an upper hand in your case.

Filing Paperwork - Crossing your T's and Dotting your I's: The amount of paperwork that is needed to complete a divorce can be crazy! Your family law attorney and their staff will handle all of this for you and of course, make sure you have all of the correct papers signed.

The Job of Family Law Solicitors

The term family law is an umbrella term which deals with many diverse aspects of any legal issues which arise in relation to married couples, unmarried couples, civil partnerships, pre and post nuptial agreements, divorce, cohabitation, legal separation and so on. This branch of law also deals with any issues which relate to children. These can range from visitation rights and contact cases, financial provision for them and also adoption.

No two cases are ever the same for a family lawyer. This area of the profession is best suited to those who are very people focussed and who have an empathy with others. Clients who visit family lawyers are often going through extremely tough times and as such may not be thinking correctly and may also be very emotional. Part of the day to day job of the family lawyer is to listen to and also at many times to give support to their client in their time of need. Obviously the lawyer will need to have excellent and astute legal skills too however as family law involves extremely emotive areas and subjects it is important that anyone planning to enter the field bears this in mind. For the client too it is important to know that the lawyer whom they are planning to visit is one who will be sensitive to their needs. Thankfully professionals who specialise in the area of family law tend to be very fair and non-judgemental so the client need not worry about beginning the legal process.

Most family lawyers would say that in the course of their work that they deal with three major areas which are children, finance and divorce. One day a lawyer could be working on a messy split where the couple cannot agree on their finances. Another day there may be a deep rooted dispute as to the upbringing of a child. Often an estranged parent or grandparents visit a family lawyer in order to find out what rights they have to see their children / grandchildren. In the UK it has been estimated that as many as 1,000,000 have been refused contact with their grandchildren according to figures provided by The Grandparents' Association.

As the majority of us will have a family at some point in our lives, so it transpires that this legal area deals with a huge cross-section of clients. From builders to bankers, at some point many of us will need to use the services of a family lawyer.

There are many family law firms in the country which will be happy to offer you help and impartial legal advice if you are experiencing hardship or problems within your family or marriage. You will be able to make an appointment for a consultation and the lawyer will help you with advice and guidance and will set you and help you on the correct way forward for you and yours.

Visiting a lawyer can be a daunting prospect but they are here to help and once you do get on the right path then you will be very glad that you did.

Family Law and Unmarried Parents

Family Law covers a broad range of legal issues, most involving the couple's minor children. The tone and outcome of the legal matter involving your family can be greatly assisted by having the right family law attorney. Family law issues do not always involve a divorce, or marriage dissolution. What about in the case of where there was never a marriage to begin with? This is a more and more common occurrence; children have been born into a relationship which involved cohabitation, but is not secured with any legal agreement. In a case where there has never been cohabitation, the father's rights may be greatly diminished.

Generally speaking, the courts look at married and unmarried father's rights quite differently. With a divorce of a legally married couple, both are considered to have the right to be fully involved in their children's lives in areas such as deciding where they live, and how they will be raised. The noncustodial parent would have the right to know where their offspring are living, and to see them according to the visitation agreement. In addition, they would have the right to information regarding school and medical records.

If the parents were not married, but did live together in the family home, and then separate, it is generally the mother who has automatic parental responsibility. If you are a father in this situation, it means that you do not have the same rights as a married father, and it might be more difficult for you to establish child visitation. Numerous other issues may arise for an unmarried father, even basic paternity can be called into question if he is not listed as the father on the birth certificate.

If you are in a situation where you have a child but have never been married to the other parent, it will be most advantageous to you to hire a qualified family law lawyer to assist you in reaching a suitable agreement so that you can be a part of your child's life. You will need guidance to determine things such as who claims the child on their income taxes, to who provides health insurance and other benefits. Even if you are not separated, but are in a happy cohabitation relationship with a child, it is a good idea to contact an attorney who can draft a legal agreement, much like a prenuptial agreement, which covers finances and child issues.

Much like with a marriage, covering some of these issues ahead of time can make any future separation go more smoothly for the individuals concerned, most especially the children. Remember, the court will decide on what it thinks is in the best interests of the children. Take the time to make those decisions yourself by contacting an attorney who deals with family law court cases. Do what is in the best interests of the children, and you will all be better off.

Top Reasons to Hire Family Law Attorneys

Hiring family law attorneys is needed whenever situations arise that require legal documentation or litigation. Some of the more common tasks include establishing guardianship for minor aged children, legal name changes, adoption, and child support.

Certain situations necessitate working with family law attorneys for a long period of time. This might include international adoptions or divorce. Under these circumstances, it is advisable to consult with multiple law firms to locate a lawyer whom you are comfortable with.

Complex legal issues can be difficult to deal with, so it is helpful to seek help from legal professionals who dedicate time and attention to the case. It's also important to locate attorneys experienced with the specific type of case.

As an example, couples who plan to adopt children outside of the U.S. should get help from family law firms who have experience in international adoptions. Another example is couples who are getting a divorce will need to get legal help to arrange child support and alimony payments.

Sadly, divorce is a primary reason for hiring an attorney. Legal help is required to abide by state child support rules, establish child custody, and file divorce papers with the court. Divorcing couples also need help to determine equitable distribution of jointly-owned assets and to arrange agreements which do not require a court appearance.

Few people will disagree that divorce cases are often the most emotional. This is due to the fact that divorce can bring about a tremendous amount of anger and frustration; especially when children are involved.

When cases involve spousal abuse there is a sense of urgency which often necessitates obtaining protective orders. In many instances, people need help removing children from neglectful or harmful situations.

Dire situations rarely allow individuals time to shop around for a lawyer. In these cases, people can obtain referrals from the state prosecutor's office or through the American Bar Association.

On the flip side, people often employ attorneys to prepare prenuptial agreements. Individuals who own a substantial amount of assets opt to protect them in the event their upcoming marriage results in divorce.

Prenuptial agreements can be tricky to arrange, so it's important to work with professionals who can present the pros and cons of this type of contract. Oftentimes, prenuptials create additional problems if divorce occurs and can prolong settlement proceedings. It is imperative for these contracts to be ironclad from the start to prevent problems later on.

Lastly, people often hire family law firms to help settle probate estates. Probate is the legal process used to close decedent estates. The process can be simplified by writing a last will and testament and identifying beneficiaries to receive inheritance property. If a Will is not presented to probate court, the estate is settled in accordance with state law.

It's never easy to settle a loved one's estate, especially during the grieving process. Engaging in estate planning can make things easier for family members and can go a long way in avoiding disputes over inheritance property.

It should be noted that it can be more expensive to hire a law firm that specializes in a specific type of law, such as international adoption. Most often, family law lawyers can provide services at a lower rate than those who work in one specific field.

Regardless of the type of legal case, it is always advisable to shop around for the most suitable law firm. Look for family law attorneys who possess experience and have an excellent track record. Also, seek out legal professionals who provide guidance and put you at ease.

Typical Family Law Topics and Services - Divorce

Unless you have encountered some sort of family related issue or perhaps a domestic problem, you will probably not be aware of the vast array of services and issues that family law encompasses. This sector within the legal system caters for all topics from divorce,inheritance disputes to custody of children, custody agreements and adoption. Formal names for the persons that represent the families and the other people directly involved are family lawyers, a family law solicitor, or family solicitors.

Family law |is very important given that it helps families resolve sticky situations. Whenever a husband and wife, civil union, or a domestic partnership comes to an unfortunate end there are often children, real estate, money and personal assets in contest that the involved parties will fight over. Each involved party finds some form of legal representation to assist them obtain their fair slice of the assets held by the couple. When children are brought in to the equation, parents usually sue for full or joint custody. Often the parents will not be able to come to an agreement on who get custody, it is then down to the legal system to make a final decision based on the presented facts. This will involve (in many cases) one parent being given full custody whilst the other parent will be granted visitation rights. The Judge may well grant some form of shared custody of the children in some form of split. This would necessitate a legal agreement to be drawn up that specifies who has access to which child on what days. This will often require quite a detailed agreement to make it perfectly clear who has access and to stop misinterpretation of the access leading to further disputes. It is quite common for a couple to use the same family solicitor to help them resolve family issues. However, when things are really messy it is often better to seek separate representation to ensure that your interests are fully covered.

When a divorce is inevitable and there is no way of resolving the issues then the couple will have to go through the family law process. The final verdict from the court will fix the split of property, assets and custody arrangements. The court will also set matters related to alimony. The family court system will be able to deal with topics covering spousal abusive behavior (physical or verbal), child abuse, legitimacy and child abductions. The areas cover a wide spectrum and really are a anything that relates to a married or legally bound couple. The court has strong and far-reaching powers over a couple. This includes the ability to grant or retract parental rights. These powers extend to forcing parties to seek help, attend classes or counseling to resolve their problems. The court can also enforce some form of community service as 'punishment' for the offenses made. The Family Law system is an essential feature of the law. Its aim is to try to resolve issues in the first instance and then take measures to ensure that no further harm can be done to involved parties.

Family Law Attorney: Financial Arrangements

Money is often at the center of cases involving a family law attorney. Whether planning for a relationship or dissolving one, money is often the central part of the discussion. Because money is such an important commodity, it is important to go into the case with a legal representative with experience in situations that families often face. You need a set game plan before any type of discussion begins. Here are a few examples of how finances affect relationships.


Before walking down the aisle, couples often make an appointment with a family law attorney to talk about a prenuptial agreement. This contract determines how the finances are divided if the relationship is terminated. It details how much money the husband will receive, how much the wife will receive, and even list out some specific circumstances that could change the arrangement.

Even though getting married is an exciting time with so many things to look forward to, people still want to protect their assets on the chance that things do not work out. This contract can be drawn up in the office, signed in the office and filed by the family law attorney.


When couples are not ready for divorce or they are waiting to take that final step, there are still financial questions that need to be addressed. If one person is living in the home, who is paying the mortgage? If there are car payments or credit card debt, who is responsible for handling them? Sometimes couples can work these things out amicably as they wait to see where the relationship is heading. Other times, a family law attorney will need to be involved to make sure that all money issues are handled during the separation.

If the couple chooses to get back together and work things out, the separation's financial arrangement is no longer necessary. If things progress and there is no way to save the marriage, more drastic measures need to be taken. In this case, both the husband and wife along with the children need to be financially taken care of in some way.

Divorce, Alimony, and Child Support

Divorce is not just dissolving a relationship. It is also changing the way that a couple handles their finances. A family law attorney can help to establish how the money should be divided between the two individuals. While some states adhere to a 50/50 policy, most of the time the situation is not that easily resolved. One person may be entitled to spousal support, also known as alimony.

The children also need to be taken care of financially. Custody of the children makes a difference in the amount of child support one-person pays to another. One parent may be responsible for health care while the other takes care of the cost of schooling.

Nine Ways to Communicate With Your Family Law Attorney in 2009

9. Call your attorney, but not every day.

8. Communicate with your attorney by e-mail, but don't abuse it.

7. Of course you can communicate with your attorney by fax.

6. Communicate by snail-mail. Bear in mind that this is a good way to communicate if there are several issues to be raised, but it is also a slow way to do so.

5. In communicating with your attorney, to save time and money, keep track of issues and raise several issues or questions at once, rather than calling or e-mailing on a daily basis with every issue.

4. Make sure that your communications are responded to. Whether they are phone calls, e-mails, letters, or faxes, you deserve a response.

3. If you have questions or issues, don't be bashful. Remember that your attorney is working for you. If you have a concern about an issue in your case, raise it. Communication is a two-way street, and it is important to communicate. You deserve answers. You deserve to know what is going on. You deserve to know what strategies are being raised. If there are issues that you have questions about, you deserve answers. They should all be in a timely fashion. There was once a study done with regard to phone calls and messages, and when a client reasonably expected a return call. The possible answers were: immediately, within two hours, within four hours, by the end of the day, within 24 hours, or whenever. The correct response was within three hours.

2. Trust is important. Having confidence in your attorney is important. Through communication and feeling that your attorney has your best interests at heart, this trust needs to be established. It is important to feel that you are not just a number, but are very important to your attorney because what you are going through in a divorce, child custody, or other family law related matter, is one of the most important situations in your life.

1. Meet with your attorney. Face to face communication is critical. At the initial consultation, this is how you establish a rapport. This is how you decide whether or not you are going to retain a particular attorney. Don't hesitate to ask questions. Don't hesitate to take notes. Make sure that before you retain an attorney, that this is the person who you will entrust one of the most important times in your life to. Don't hesitate to have regular meetings so that you can make sure that you are both on the same wavelength, and are doing things and working together. You and your attorney are part of a team, and this is important.